How and when to get chickens to start using nesting boxes?????

Blosing101

In the Brooder
Jul 22, 2016
79
1
46
Saint James Missouri
Hello, I have about 10 hens that are going on 4 months old. I do not see them using their nesting boxes that much. Is this normal??? And when and how do I get them to start using the boxes???
 

chickcrack

Songster
May 27, 2016
614
124
126
Ontario, Canada
I put golf balls in each of the boxes prior to them beginning to lay. You can also buy plastic or clay eggs from a farm supply store. This gives them the idea to go in there. They will also peck at them and get bored when nothing happens so they shouldn't bother pecking and breaking your eggs once they start finding those in there. Good luck!
 

Pendragonz

Chirping
Oct 10, 2015
140
14
57
NWA
I put golf balls in each of the boxes prior to them beginning to lay. You can also buy plastic or clay eggs from a farm supply store. This gives them the idea to go in there. They will also peck at them and get bored when nothing happens so they shouldn't bother pecking and breaking your eggs once they start finding those in there. Good luck!

That's a great idea! I will have to remember to put some clay or ceramic eggs in the nest boxes to have them broken of egg pecking before they even start to lay. Thanks for the idea.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Hello, I have about 10 hens that are going on 4 months old. I do not see them using their nesting boxes that much. Is this normal??? And when and how do I get them to start using the boxes???
You don't want them 'using' the nests until they start laying......don't let them roost(sleep) in them.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Just make the nesting boxes available to them with a couple of fake plastic or wooden eggs salted in one or two of the boxes.

A couple weeks prior to onset of laying, pullets will "play house" in the nest boxes. They will toss the nest material around and make a huge mess. This is normal learning behavior.

But as aart points out, do not permit them to sleep in the nests at night. If they try to do that, you need to block them off at night.
 

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